Press Releases

June 06, 2014

Udall, Heinrich, Lujan Grisham Secure Key Commitments from U.S. Air Force to Address Fuel Spill at KAFB

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, and U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham secured key commitments from the U.S. Air Force to address the impacts of a major fuel spill at Kirtland Air Force Base (KAFB) that has been affecting the base and the region since the 1950s and threatens the city's water supply. They also urged the Air Force to move quickly to develop a final remediation plan for the spill. While several studies have been done, they have reached conflicting conclusions a… Continue Reading

June 06, 2014

In Senate Floor Speech, Udall Honors Contribution of Last Original Navajo Code Talker, Chester Nez

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Tom Udall paid tribute in a speech on the Senate floor to the life and service of Chester Nez, the last of the original 29 Navajo Code Talkers, who died Wednesday morning. AUDIO: VIDEO: "Today, we say goodbye to this great hero, this humble man who served our country with such devotion," Udall said in his speech. "We say goodbye with sadness. But also w… Continue Reading

June 05, 2014

Udall, Barrasso Bill Would Renew and Improve BLM Energy Permitting Program

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Sens. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and John Barrasso (R-WY) introduced a bipartisan bill to extend a pilot program that has helped the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) balance complex demands, including oil and gas permitting and environmental management, in New Mexico, Wyoming and other parts of the West. Created as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the pilot program was designed to help the agency deal with a backlog of permit applications while balancing other duties. The … Continue Reading

June 05, 2014

Udall, Heinrich Work to Increase Accountability at VA

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich announced that they have joined several Senate colleagues in introducing a bill to correct serious systemic problems that have plagued the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), including long wait times for appointments and a shortage of doctors and nurses. The Restoring Veterans' Trust Act of 2014 would give the VA authority to immediately remove senior executives based on poor job performance, while maintaining due process for… Continue Reading

June 04, 2014

Udall, Heinrich Urge President To Revise Budget To Address Required Changes In Design And Operation At WIPP

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich urge President Obama to send Congress an amendment to his Fiscal Year 2015 Budget to ensure that the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) has the funding it needs to continue implementing the recommendations of the Department of Energy's (DOE) Accident Investigation Boards, including required changes in design and operation. A fire and radiation release earlier this year have left WIPP closed while the Department of Energy investigates the r… Continue Reading

June 04, 2014

Udall, Heinrich, Luján Honor Last Original Navajo Code Talker Chester Nez

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, and U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján issued the following statements celebrating the life and service of Chester Nez, the last of the original 29 Navajo Code Talkers, who died Wednesday morning, and honoring the historic role the Native American Code Talkers played in the Allied victory in World War II. "The passing of Chester Nez is a solemn moment for the Navajo Nation, the state of New Mexico and our country, and my thoughts are with… Continue Reading

June 03, 2014

A Constitutional Amendment to Save Our Democracy

Step by step, the U.S. Supreme Court is dismantling our campaign finance system. Citizens United gave free speech rights to corporations and special interests. And with the Court's decision in McCutcheon, the super-wealthy have a green light to donate to an unlimited number of candidates. Now a billionaire in one state can influence the elections in 49 other states. It's clearer than ever that we need a constitutional amendment to restore integrity in our election system. Money and free speech a… Continue Reading

June 03, 2014

Senator Tom Udall: Momentum Building for Campaign Finance Reform

WASHINGTON - Today, at 10:30 a.m. ET, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on a proposal by U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) to amend the Constitution and restore power to regulate campaign finance to the people through Congress and the states. Udall's amendment would clarify in the Constitution that money does not equal speech, effectively reversing the Court's decisions in Buckley v. Valeo, Citizens United, and McCutcheon, which have unraveled campaign finance regulations and… Continue Reading

June 02, 2014

Udall Statement on Administration's 'Clean Power Plan'

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Tom Udall, a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, issued the following statement in response to the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) proposal to reduce greenhouse gas producing pollution from power plants to 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030: "We've seen the impacts of climate change firsthand here in New Mexico. Prolonged droughts, more frequent wildfires and increased threats to forests and agriculture present some of the biggest economic a… Continue Reading

May 30, 2014

Udall Statement on Resignation of VA Secretary Shinseki

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- U.S. Senator Tom Udall issued the following statement on Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki's decision to step down. "Secretary Shinseki made the right decision today. I have enormous respect for him and his service, but the seriousness of the mismanagement and culture of deception at VA facilities is unacceptable and a betrayal of our veterans in New Mexico and nationwide. The only way to restore accountability, transparency and effective management at the VA is with… Continue Reading

May 29, 2014

Udall Calls on VA Secretary Shinseki to Resign

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- U.S. Senator Tom Udall issued the following statement calling for VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to step down: "Independent investigators at the VA are now confirming what I have been saying for weeks: that the problems at the VA are systemic and rooted in a culture that has rewarded cover-ups and cheating to the point of risking the health of our veterans. What I have heard from New Mexico veterans and read in the OIG report is a betrayal of the heroes who fought for our freedo… Continue Reading

May 28, 2014

Udall Discusses Bills to Improve Border Health and Economic Well-being During Visit to Sunland Park, N.M.

SUNLAND PARK, N.M. - Today, in a visit to New Mexico's southern border, U.S. Senator Tom Udall announced that he is working on two bills to help improve the health and economies of border communities as well as our national security. He discussed the impact the legislation could have on border community health and economic development at a meeting of the Paso del Norte Binational Health Council and a tour of La Clinica de Familia. The first bill, the Border Health Security Act, would strengthen … Continue Reading

May 27, 2014

Udall Highlights Importance of Innovation, Investment to N.M. Job Growth in Speech to Greater Albuquerque Chamber

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Today in a speech to the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce, U.S. Senator Tom Udall, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, highlighted the importance of investments in infrastructure and education to helping strengthen the economy in New Mexico and create jobs. Resources he has fought for - including the grant that helped complete an expansion of the Union Pacific Rail facility in Santa Teresa - have fueled economic growth. Udall will speak Wednesday at the… Continue Reading

May 27, 2014

Udall Statement on Defense Department Decision to Allow SunZia Transmission Line

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - U.S. Senator Tom Udall issued the following statement on the Department of Defense agreement to rescind its objection to the SunZia transmission line through a part of the "call-up area" north of the White Sands Missile Range. "The long-term viability of the White Sands Missile Range and the future of renewable energy development in New Mexico are both crucial to our state's economy and our national security. Throughout this long process I've urged DoD, Interior, and SunZia … Continue Reading

May 23, 2014

PHOTO: Udall, Heinrich Join Secretary Jewell and 100s of New Mexicans to Celebrate Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument

LAS CRUCES, N.M. -- Today, U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and hundreds of Doña Ana County advocates gathered at Oñate High School to celebrate the proclamation designating the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument. Additional photos of the day's events will be available here: The Senators issued the following statements: Udall: "This is a great day for New Mexico -- thanks… Continue Reading

May 21, 2014

Udall, Heinrich Welcome Confirmation of Damon Martinez as U.S. Attorney for N.M.

WASHINGTON - Today U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich joined the Senate in voting unanimously to confirm Damon P. Martinez to be U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico. Martinez has served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney since 2001 and as acting U.S. Attorney since March 2014. He is highly experienced in cases concerning national security and anti-terrorism, immigration and narcotics. The senators recommended Martinez for the position of U.S. Attorney in an April 26, 2013, letter to… Continue Reading

May 21, 2014

Organ Mountains, Desert Peaks

New Mexico has a new national monument that will put the unique and spectacular desert landscapes of Southern New Mexico on recreation maps around the world. The creation of the national monument finally puts into motion a plan that began with the people of Southern New Mexico, who wanted to ensure these special places would continue to be available for local families and visitors to hike, hunt, and learn from the hundreds of significant historic sites throughout the area for generations to come… Continue Reading

May 21, 2014

Udall, Heinrich: Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks Officially a National Monument

WASHINGTON - Today, New Mexicans celebrated the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument Proclamation that was signed by President Barack Obama. Retired U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, and community leaders from New Mexico joined the president and Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell for the signing ceremony at the Department of Interior. PHOTO LINK: "The people o… Continue Reading

May 19, 2014

Udall, Heinrich Welcome White House Announcement To Designate Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks A National Monument

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) released the following statements today after the White House announced President Obama's plan to sign a proclamation designating the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks in southern New Mexico as a national monument: "The Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument will put the unique and spectacular desert landscapes of Southern New Mexico on recreation maps around the world, attracting tourists to the region, creating jo… Continue Reading

May 15, 2014

Udall Responds to Further Allegations of VA Mismanagement, Encourages N.M. Veterans, VA Employees to Report Concerns

WASHINGTON - Today, as Veterans Secretary Eric Shinseki testified before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee about allegations that VA employees in Phoenix and possibly elsewhere were covering up excessive wait times for appointments, U.S. Senator Tom Udall reiterated his concerns about whether similar practices might be happening in New Mexico. He urged veterans, VA employees and anyone with related information to report it to the VA Office of Inspector General (VA OIG) or to his Senate offic… Continue Reading

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